Iraqi Political Leaders Seeking Replacement For Maliki

On June 19 Iraqi political leaders began positioning themselves to replace Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki.

According to The New York Times, this push grew out of "indications that the Americans would like to see a replacement for Maliki."

President Obama made clear his desire that Maliki be replaced by someone who is "a unifier." 

Three members of the Shiite majority have "emerged as possible candidates to take over as prime minister." But others are believed to be forming alliances to get themselves in the running as well.

The leader who succeeds Maliki will have to "convince Iraq's Sunni Muslims and its ethnic Kurds that he can hold [the country] together." He will also have to convince citizens that he will "vanquish a Sunni-led insurgency that has escalated into a crisis threatening to partition the country." 

Each faction wants something different in Maliki's replacement. Kurds want the oil rich city of Kirkuk "[recognized] part of the autonomous Kurdish territory they carved out in the north" and Sunnis "want to lead at least one security ministry," as well as "control some of the other powerful ministries such as education or higher education, both rich in patronage and jobs."

The key point of agreement between the factions is that Maliki's tenure as Prime Minister needs to end. 

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins  Reach him directly at


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